Erik L. Durchman

  • Born: May 16, 1947
  • Died: July 18, 2010
  • Location: Moravian Falls, North Carolina

Tribute & Message From The Family

REINS-STURDIVANT Mr. Erik L. Durchman, age 63, of Orchard Road, Moravian Falls died Sunday, July 18, 2010 at his home. A memorial service will be held 2:00, Friday, July 23, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with the Rev. Scott Peterson officiating. Family and friends will gather for a celebration of life in the parish house after the service. The family will receive at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home from 6:30 until 8:00 Thursday night. Mr. Durchman was born on May 16, 1947, at Lake George, New York to Olli and Marion C. Durchman. He grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. He attended Carnegie Mellon University. He was married to the former Lynn Kinard for forty years. They have three sons, Thomas Durchman of Seattle, WA, Jeremy Durchman and son, Lennon of Fayetteville, AR, and Matthew Durchman and wife Stefanie of Mooresville. He is also survived by his mother, sister, Jeanne Sterrett, brother, Neal Durchman all of Erie, PA, and sister, Cheryl Johnson of Cleveland, OH. He will be greatly missed by a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews. Erik was passionate about animals, the outdoors, sports, rock music and travel. He spent 30 years in the NASCAR racing business, where he worked in various roles as engine builder, mechanic, chassis manager and machinist. Until his death, he was employed by Penske Racing South in Mooresville. He felt privileged to be a part of racing history and was fortunate to work with many pioneers of the professional stock car racing circuit. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Wilkes, PO Box 306, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, Wilkes County Library, 215 10th Street, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, or to Wilkes County Animal Shelter, 408 Call Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I worked at Travis Carters with Erik and he took me in and taught me so much. My son now races and the knowledge Erik gave me , now can help him. He was one of the greatest men I ever meet. I will always remember him.

Posted by Danny Crump - Morganton, NC - working friend   November 02, 2013

Lynn and Boys, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember our families spending time together enjoying your babies, dinners, and the vivid memory of Erik working so diligently on your new home (the dome!) Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Sincerely, Donna Moore Ruggiero

Posted by Donna Moore Ruggiero - orlando, FL   August 06, 2010

Dear Lynn, I was saddened to hear about Erik. Please know you are in my prayers. May God's strength be with you and your family.

Posted by Sharon Wilcox - Wilkesboro, NC   July 30, 2010

Dear Durchman Family, I am sorry to hear of your loss. When I heard of Erik's passing I remembered all the good times our family had with yours. As a kid, I remember wanting to hang out with the adults, because you guys were having more fun than the kids! :-) It's hard to believe, I'm older now than when we met back in the 70's. Those were fun times. Thinking of you all and sending you love. Crystal

Posted by Crystal Moore Mason - Roswell, GA   July 29, 2010

Thomas and family, I am very sorry about your loss. My prayers are with you.

Posted by Kim Bowling Holland - North Wilkesboro, NC   July 29, 2010

Thomas, I am so sorry about the loss of your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Amanda Johnson Barrows - North Wilkesboro, NC   July 27, 2010

Lynn, Our thought and prayers are with you and your family. May God give you strength during this very difficult time.

Posted by Joyce Minton - Purlear, NC   July 25, 2010

I am so, so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Posted by Kristina - Holly Springs, NC   July 23, 2010

To the Durchmans, Along with everyone else, I was shocked by the loss of my cousin Eric. I was lucky enough to have spent a brief time with him not even two weeks ago. Although we didn't spend nearly enough time together, I always enjoyed his humor and admired his intelligence, sensitivity and deep love for his family. His story about his trip to France with Aunt Marion brought tears to his eyes as well as mine and I'm sure everyone else he shared it with. What a wonderful son! He told me on that Saturday two weekends ago that if he died tomorrow he would be happy because he had a wonderful career, was even chosen to work on the restoration of the Titanic and, most important, was blessed with the best wife and sons a man could have. I wish I could have known him better. Korri and family

Posted by Korri Hishon - Toronto   July 23, 2010

Matt & Stefanie and the entire Durchman Family. Words can not console you right now but know that my thoughts and prays are with you. I hope that the memories that you hold in heart give you comfort at this time. God bless you all

Posted by Gayle Dunbar - Davidson, NC   July 23, 2010

I have known the Durchmans for many, many years.
I thought I'd share a memory that to this day still leaves me laughing and a little confused.
Many years ago several friends got together for a Halloween party.
There were many great costumes; someone came as Dracula; another as Peter Pan; there was a very diverse ensemble of characters.
But that night, our friend Jack Krebser was disguised as one of our friends, Lyle Wheeler who was also at the party.
I know; I, for one, one kept mistaking the real Lyle for the impostor Lyle who was also attired in the tell-tale Lyle Wheeler bib overalls.
As the evening wore on I couldn't help but notice that Erik Durtchman was wearing a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt which had been stuffed with napkins? old rags? I figured that he was disguised to make himself look like a larger man
like a famous Hawaiian? The Hawaiian (how about a Hawaiian) punch man? Dom Delouse? Don Ho?

"Hey, I like your costume. Who are you supposed to be?"

Without cracking a smile, or batting an eyelash, Erik replies: "I'm "supposed to be Dave Greenwood, but somebody already beat me to it" and he points to a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt but who I "thought" was the real Dave Greenwood wearing the Greenwood Hawaiian shirt trademark .
Confused I turned to Erik but Erik was already walking away and muttering to himself: "and it was such a good idea, too but someone must have tipped this guy off and well, he is the same size as Greenwood and of course; Greenwood doesn't wear glasses.... "

I don't know if anyone ever had the heart to tell Erik that the "Cheater impostor Greenwood" was the real Greenwood.
But even if I could have explained what happened I don't think I am quite sure who was fooling who that night.
It was a scene straight out of a " The Far side" cartoon.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery to which I reply,

C'mon gang; let's all be "Durchman"

There are hundreds of amusing and original stories that I could tell you about my friend Erik Durchman and
one of these days I think I will do just that.

They broke the mold when they made Erik Durchman; they sure don't make them like that anymore.

Posted by Tom - Hayes, NC - friend   July 23, 2010

To members of Erik Durchman Family: Please accept my condolences on the passing of Erik. Erik and I grew up together near each other on Station Road in Harborcreek Township, Pa. We were on the baseball team together and shared a few classes together. Erik was both a very, very funny guy AND very, very smart. A toxic combination especially when he expressed his humor. The ride back to school on the bus from away baseball games was always interesting because of his humor, and I would say an element of being a jokester, most prominent if we won. If we lost, there was silence, except of course, a few mumbles and joke telling from Erik. John “Wrobo” Wroblewski Harborcreek High School Class of 1965

Posted by John Wroblewski - Harborcreek, PA   July 23, 2010

Dear Aunt Lynn, Tom, Jeremy and Matt, Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. We love you all.

Posted by Todd, Michele, Christian, Hope, Hannah and Nathan Dieterich - North Ridgeville, OH   July 23, 2010

Matt and Stefanie, my sincerest sympathy for you and your family.
May the memories you've built over the years sustain you through
your grief.

Posted by Leigh Yarbrough - Davidson, NC   July 22, 2010

Lynn and family,
We are so sorry for your tragic loss. Although I only knew Erik for a brief four years, we became quite good friends in that short time. We shared a passion for golf - and "played nine" every Wednesday after work that we could manage. We usually played at Fox Den in Statesville. We had a great foresome of friends and colleagues at Penske with Craig and Dewayne. I'm really happy (thanks to Craig) that we were all together again for what would have been Erik's final golf game. Erik loved kids so much - and always wanted to hear how our boys were doing in their First Tee golf programs. Erik once got so much joy out of seeing my son's enthusiasm for the game - that he stopped playing himself and just watched! I can still see his smile, after witnessing shot after shot that my son would hit. The pinicle golf experience we shared together was a trip to Pinehurst NC during 2009 to play 3 courses including Tobacco Road. I invited Erik to go along with two lifelong friends of mine from PA. Erik felt very comfortable - and fit right in. Erik was highly intelligent and had done so much in his life. Erik always spoke very proudly of his family - and wife Lynn. Erik's favorite place on earth besides a golf course, was Paris with Lynn. Please accept our condolences - and God Bless you and your family.

Posted by Mark Swavely and family - Mooresville, NC - Work colleague   July 22, 2010



Durchman Family, My deepest prayers and sympathies go out to you all. I have lots of great memories of Erik, as he was never reluctant to hang out with the younger guys. Over the years, the Durchman house felt like home, and I am thankful for all the great times we shared.

Posted by David Khodayar - Dallas, TX   July 21, 2010

Erik was a fun person to work with at Penske. I am very sorry for your loss and you have my deepest sympathy.

Posted by Joyce Kearns - Kannapolis, NC   July 21, 2010

Lynn, You and your family are an integral part of my memories as a child. I would have mourned the loss of Erik based on those memories alone. What a blessing it has been to reconnect with you both as an adult. Chip and I are both so grateful for the time we shared with Erik. While Chip relished the garage stories, Erik and I spoke mostly about his family, something he obviously treasured dearly. Erik commented often about what a great father Jeremy is, better than he had been...I say apples never fall far from their trees though do they. Erik was one of a kind and while I mourn our loss here, I am comforted by thoughts of him and Abby reunited and playing fetch with sticks…or logs rather! Eric, “Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls. For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Posted by Becky, Chip, & Sam - Wilkesboro, NC   July 21, 2010

Lynn, I am very saddened to hear of Erik's passing. I just hope you and your family can find peace and comfort in the days to come. You have been so helpful to me and so many folks that I love dearly. I pray that you will allow others to help you in this time of need. If there is anything I can do to help your family members here in Arkansas, please do not hesitate to call. Sincerely, Paula Wagoner Miller

Posted by Paula Miller - Springdale,, AR   July 21, 2010

Thomas & family, I'm very sorry for your loss. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Heather Wiles-Cheek - N. Wilkesboro, NC   July 21, 2010

To the Durchman, Sterrett and Johnson Families:

We were deeply saddened to hear of Erik's passing. Words cannot heal
the pain of losing someone so dear. Hold tight to memories for comfort
and may God give you the strength to overcome the pain. You are in our
thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Barb & Tim Johnson - Erie, PA   July 21, 2010

Erik was a most talented and caring person.We are saddened by his passing. Please accept our sincere condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Steve and Jan Jackson

Posted by Steve and Jan Jackson - Wilkesboro, NC   July 21, 2010

Lynn, You and Erik were among the first people Becky and I met when we moved to N Wilkesboro in 1973. At our first dinner at your house, Erik showed us the model he had built of the dome. And then he built the dome. I also remember our first meal there. It was a wonderful celebration. Erik is one of the most unique, bright, talented, and kind persons I have ever known. I deeply regret losing him and the joy and excitement he gave to so many of us. I wish you and the boys only the best.

Posted by Pete Mann - Wilkesboro, NC   July 21, 2010

Lynn and Family, You are in our thoughts and in our prayers. Erik lives on in the faces of his family whom he Loved and Cherished more than life itself. He was so proud of all of you, Tim & Rita Kinney

Posted by Tim & Rita Kinney - Deep Gap, NC   July 21, 2010

The last time that I saw Erik Durchman (or any other member of the infamous Kerr Scot Yacht club) was two Summers ago at a volley ball at Tom's Morris's place.
I had just finished playing a game, and was trudging up the gravel driveway toward Tom's house and I came upon Eric & Claudia Eller who was having a mild dispute over the trunk of Claudia's Buick
C'mon, Erik, you can do it
Shaking his head, Erik turned away from the Buick and started walking toward me down the driveway and said to Claudia Forget it. There's no way we can get them out and besides I came here to play volley ball
Can't get what out I asked?
Her keys out of her she locked . . . Erik replied at the same time Claudia screamed:
MY keys! I've locked my keys in the car, and I don't know how I'm going to get home and I'm not a MECHANIC either like ERIK who is walking away!
Erik laughed and and kept walking towards the volley ball court.

Did you hear the joke about the gynaecologist who became a mechanic and was able to preform
a hysterectomy thru the tail pipe? I loudly asked Claudia
Erik spins around, Hey, , he yells , that's my joke and that's NOT how it goes
He points at me and says: All right, go in the garage and look for a file or something flat to push against the rubber window seal and I will TRY to get those #$@$^% keys out of the ignition! .
Okay, he continues, files in hand, here is how the joke goes . . .

The car was unlocked, the keys were retrieved and we all had a good laugh over the
Gynecologists who passed the test to become a mechanic.

A good laugh is the most powerful medicine in the world.
Thank-you Erik for giving us our smiles;
I know I will always smile when I think of Erik Durchman
God speed , old friend.

Rita & Tim Kinney

Posted by Rita Kinney - Deep Gap, NC - Friend   July 21, 2010

Lynn, You have helped so many find their way through the loss of a loved one. Please know that there are many who want to help you now. Lean on GOD, let him carry you and your family through this sad time. Keeping you in our prayers.

Posted by Glenda Andrews - Fleetwood, NC   July 21, 2010

Dear Lynn and sons, I am shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Erik. As I read all of the tributes that your friends and family have sent, it only confirms my beliefs of what a wonderful man Erik was and I am so grateful that I was able to spend some quality time with him at Aunt Marion's 90th birthday just last weekend. We spent some quality time talking about our lives, our jobs and our families and the one thing that Erik said to me was that he has lived a good life with wonderful children and a beautiful,thoughtful and loving wife and that was all he could ever ask for. While taking pictures outside of the church, I remember standing next to him and wishing that it would have been wonderful if we had more opportunity to have spent more time together as adults. He had a great sense of family and friends and on top of all that, I loved his sense humor. He was a wonderful man and I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Jackie Dunn - Queensbury, NY   July 21, 2010

My deepest sympathy goes out to the Durchman family.I knew Erik 22 years. He was one of the most intelligent people i ever met and probably the best manual machinest in Nascar. I remember when we worked at Baker-Schiff Racing he would also show us all up playing basketball. He will be missed.

Posted by Don Roberts - Mooresville, NC   July 21, 2010

To the Durchman family, We are all filled with sorrow at your tremendous loss. Working with Tom Durchman, we are all constantly entertained by the stories he tells of his father. Clearly, he was quite a man, and has had an enormous influence over his children. We are all richer knowing Tom, who himself is rich in having such a man for a father. We extend our condolences and hope you find comfort in one another, and in the memory of such an extraordinary human being. You are in our thoughts, The Staff of Restaurant Zoe

Posted by The Staff of Restaurant Zoe - Seattle, WA   July 21, 2010

Lynn and sons, our deepest sympathy goes out to you. May God keep you in His care.

Posted by Dick and Reba Whittington - Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

Dearest Lynn, We are so sorry about Erik. We are holding you and your family close to our hearts. Kathy, Donald and David

Posted by Kathy Williams - Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

My memories of Erik include working on his beloved geodesic dome while listening to and singing along to Grateful Dead music. A phone call one rainy night from Erik telling me, through tears of joy, how happy he was that his little family was safe, spending their first night in the new dome. Compassion, honesty, intelligence, loyalty and a great sense of humor were a few of the qualities we admired in Erik. Lynn, our love and concern are with you and your family always. And to Erik, "We bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight."

Posted by Paul and Carolyn Lackey - Hickory, NC   July 20, 2010

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow. May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Posted by Harborcreek High School Class of 1965    July 20, 2010

I am so sorry to hear about Erik. I was looking at the pictures from our class reunion 5 years ago and there is one of Erik, Mike Reske, Glenn Merrit and John Wroblewski. What a fun picture. We all enjoyed our time together "catching up" at the winery that night. What a great guy. He will be so missed by all.

Posted by Carol Fuller - Harborcreek, PA   July 20, 2010

Dear Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. Although I never met Erik, I am certain he was a very good person and will be missed by you and his family. God bless you and keep you.

Posted by Tim Joines - Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

Matt and I worked together and became good friends. During our time together he shared memories of his father and family. Often, we would laugh till we would be in tears over silly stories. My thoughts are with your family. Toby Golds

Posted by Toby Golds - Statesville, NC   July 20, 2010

Dear Lynn and Boys, I am so sorry about Erik. He was a very good friend to me and a GREAT friend to Abbie. May God bless you all.

Posted by Linda Garwood - North Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

Thomas, sorry for the loss of your dad, i know he will be greatly missed, may GOD BLESS you all. we will remember you in our thoughts & prayers.

Posted by MARTY GREENE - BOOMER, NC   July 20, 2010

Lynn and family may the peace and love of our God comfort you in the days to come.

Posted by Linda Lopez - Irvington, VA   July 20, 2010

Jeremy, so sorry for your loss, We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. With sympathy Love Mike and Brenda Carver

Posted by Brenda Carver - N Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

Durchman family, My heartfelt condolences go out to all of you in this time. From playing basketball on top of the mountain when we were younger to seeing him at Matt's wedding last year, it is a pleasure and a privilege to know your wonderful family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by Jonathan Nichols - Mooresville, NC   July 20, 2010

Lynn and Family, Our prayers are with you. We will miss Erik. What a lovely picture of him from a lovely time at Matt & Stef's wedding. May God comfort you now and always!

Posted by Laura Blackburn - N Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

I met "THE MAD DUTCHMAN" on a Saturday as he was just finishing the foundation of his dream home "The Dome" He joked about the folks on highway 18 who would come by and gawk as his work progressed. He laughed about the fact that they were taking bets on when he would give-up and go back "UP NORTH". Erik & I became instant friends. Christmas at the dome and Halloween parties were so much fun! Over the years as "LIFE GOT IN THE WAY" we would lose track of one another only for our lives to cross paths once again. He was always glad to see me,always had time to "catch up" no matter how long or how many miles it had been. I remember the last time that I had the chance to see & talk to him. I will cherish it for as long as I have sunrises and sunsets. I will miss your smile, the twinkle of your eyes, and that smile! My Life Is Better For Knowing You, My Friend! PEACE BE WITH YOU! I still have DWs bent pushrod!

Posted by Frank Anderson - North Wilkesboro, NC   July 20, 2010

Matt and Stefanie, We are very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. Love, Heather and Jeff

Posted by Jeff - Cornelius, NC   July 20, 2010

Our deepest condolences and sympathy to all of the family and friends. We so enjoyed meeting Erik last week and feel blessed to have had that opportunity. You will all be in our prayers.

Posted by Andrea Clark and Family - Powell, OH   July 20, 2010

Erik & I were in school together from the first grade. My memories of him were of how intelligent he was and also what a character he could be! I am shocked and saddened to learn of his passing and I send my condolences and prayers to his family. May he rest in peace.

Posted by June Thompson Arneman - Edinboro, PA - former classmate   July 19, 2010

Matt and Stefanie: At times like this, words cannot express our feelings. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.You have our sincere sympathy.

Posted by Jodi Smith and Bobby Banks - Mooresville, NC   July 19, 2010

Lynn and family, I was very sadden to hear about Erik, I know that he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Lovingly, Emily

Posted by Emily Hendrix - Hays, NC   July 19, 2010

Dear Lynn : Even though our paths have not crossed lately, I still considered the both of you my friends. So sorry for your loss. I will never forget the times we got together and had some good laughs. You are in my thoughts.

Posted by carolyn marlowe - north wilkesboro, NC   July 19, 2010

What a shock to lose a BEST had a "way" with what you said and did and you will be missed so very much.

Posted by Ed and Kathy Petrusch - Alvaton, KY   July 19, 2010

Erik was one of the best guys I ever worked with. I will miss him very much. Robin Pemberton

Posted by Robin Pemberton - Cornelius, NC   July 19, 2010

You have left us way too early Erik, We will miss you everyday and we love you. Our memories are happy and will be shared along with your zest for life. Love, Cheryl and Bob

Posted by Cheryl and Bob Johnson - North Olmsted, OH   July 19, 2010